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The Persian War Detail of Persian Campaigns. Difference Between Persia, Greece Persians Absolute monarchy, centered on Persian “King of Kings” Empire.

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Presentation on theme: "The Persian War Detail of Persian Campaigns. Difference Between Persia, Greece Persians Absolute monarchy, centered on Persian “King of Kings” Empire."— Presentation transcript:

1 The Persian War Detail of Persian Campaigns

2 Difference Between Persia, Greece Persians Absolute monarchy, centered on Persian “King of Kings” Empire of conquered people, fighting b/c their king told them to Small educated class Land power w/ weak navy Persian king wanted everyone to be Persian Greeks Many different forms of government Free people fighting to stay free Large educated class Strong navies, good armies Greeks wanted everyone to think like Greeks

3 Who were the Persians? Centered in modern day Iran, which literally means “Land of the Aryans” At height, the Persian Empire covered the territory shown above

4 Rise of Persia: the Achaemenids Ruling dynasty from BC Controlled a vast empire from 530 BC forward

5 Darius I: “King of Kings” ( BC) Established Imperial Government –Divided empire into 20 satrapies –Maintained large bureaucracy and spy network –“Royal Road” from Persepolis (capital) to Sardis, in Asia Minor Ruled through local “client kings” –Local ruler who recognized Darius as his king

6 Causes of the First Persian War Ionian Greeks (living along coast of Black Sea) were being oppressed by a client king of the Persians In 499 BC, Ionian Greeks rebelled against client king and asked for help from mainland Greeks; Athens sent 20 warships to assist them

7 First Persian War Persians reasserted control by 495 BC; Darius decided to punish Athens In 492 BC, he sent a large fleet and army across Aegean Sea, landing near Athens Persian army approximately 30,000 troops; Athenian army about 9,000 Outnumbered Greeks met the Persians at the seashore

8 Battle of Marathon, 490 BC Persian camp was on seashore Persian warships were beached Greeks assembled for battle –Made center of phalanx purposefully thinner –Massed troops on ends of lines

9 Battle of Marathon, 490 BC

10 ... And performed a double envelopment of the Persian army Most of Persian navy launched without waiting for Persian soldiers; many drowned or were speared in water

11 First Persian War Aftermath For the first time, all Greeks were unified in face of perceived threat to their way of life, form Greek League Son, Xerxes, assumed power, and prepared massive invasion force for return to Greece to avenge father’s loss vs.

12 Second Persian War ( BC)

13 Second Persian War Xerxes invaded Greece –Huge army drawn from all over empire, brought together –Accuracy of troop numbers: Herodutus claimed up to 4 million!! –Modern estimates, based on supply limitations = 250,000 –Herodutus claimed Persians had a fleet of over 1000 ships, paralleling army –Crossed Hellespont over bridge of boats

14 Battle of Thermopylae Met Spartans in battle in mountain pass at Thermopylae, in central Greece King Leonidas of Sparta led 300 Spartans and 3700 other Greeks in a desperate stand to slow Persian advance Hollywood’s Leonidas Greece’s Leonidas

15 Battle of Thermopylae For three days, Leonidas held Persians off, killing thousands of Persians; but a Greek traitor showed Persians a way around the Spartan blockade; they were attacked from rear and destroyed to the manman

16 Fall of Athens and Salamis Persians marched on Athens & destroyed the abandoned city Xerxes brought fleet up to destroy Athenian navy and kill Athenians who took refuge on island of Salamis Battle of Salamis ensued; –Outnumbered Greeks destroyed Persian navy –Lured Persians into narrow straits & negated their #s

17 Salamis Following defeat, Xerxes abandoned his army and returned to Persia

18 Significance of Persian Wars Greek victory allowed Golden Age of Greece to occur Western philosophy, art & culture came into its own and spread throughout Europe (and eventually to the US) Persian victory would have snuffed out idea of democracy Persian victory would have changed our world today


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